District 9 - Brainerd area
CO (Conservation Officer) Bob Mlynar (Aitkin) worked firearms deer activity with a focus on baiting and individuals who choose to shoot from the road. He requested Aviation Unit assistance with an ongoing case involving corn, oats and pumpkins. Photographs should be invaluable with CWD feeding ban, baiting, blaze orange and ATV registration charges. A trespass complaint was handled, as was an individual who was burning furniture. He also reassured a widow who had chased an ermine out of her house with a hammer.
CO Jim Guida (Brainerd) worked big-game and waterfowl enforcement this past week. Enforcement action was taken on a hunter who purchased a license and didn’t wait the required period of time prior to harvesting a deer. A baiting investigation was also completed. Guida assisted the Aviation Unit as a tactical flight officer with active hunting and baiting investigations. Lending/borrowing license investigations have started.
CO Tony Flerlage (Crosby) wrapped up the firearms deer season with snowy weather and low deer numbers seen. Some parties had more success than others, with a number of nice bucks killed. Generally, the talk from hunters was they were enjoying the hunt and camaraderie regardless of the deer shot. He addressed a few issues of ATV use during closed hours of deer season.
CO Scott Fitzgerald (CCSRA) reports working the last week of the firearms deer season. A few hunters were out trying to bag a deer and a few small-game hunters were also seen. Fitzgerald patrolled the state recreation area for park permits and illegal vehicle activity and for signs of people on closed trails. Outdoor law-related questions were fielded and a few car-killed deer permits were issued.
CO Eric Sullivan (Pequot Lakes) continued training with COC (Conservation Officer Candidate) Brown on Step 4 of field training. They saw hunting activity pick up as the weather got better for deer hunting. Enforcement actions included taking a deer overlimit, violations of the deer-feeding ban, transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, and a site tag validation violation.
CO Amber Ladd (McGregor) worked several deer-hunting cases this past week as deer season wrapped up. She encountered several deer that were not yet registered, were not properly tagged or didn’t have the tag properly validated. She also worked lending/borrowing or illegal party hunting cases, as well as baiting cases. There were several contacts of permanent deer stands on state land, and decorative forestry product thefts were worked.
CO Patrick McGowan (Pine River) patrolled Cass and Crow Wing counties for hunting activity. Numerous waterfowl and deer hunters were checked throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for numerous waterfowl and big-game violations.
District 2 - Bemidji area
CO Tom Hutchins (Crookston) reports checking deer hunters in the Beltrami County area. Time was also spent checking angling activity and following up on deer-hunting related cases.
CO Tim Gray (Bagley) checked firearms deer hunters. At the lake where on firearms deer opener he found a young girl fishing open water in shorts and flip flops, he found somebody had been drilling holes across the lake and ice fishing.
CO Brice Vollbrecht (Bemidji #1) worked deer-season activity. Hunting success varied throughout the area. An increased number of grouse were observed. Follow up was done on calls of individuals hunting the Bemidji Game Refuge with rifles, operating ATVs in closed areas and illegal stands on state forest lands.
CO Chris Vinton (Perham) spent the past week field training COC Vincent Brown. Brown and Vinton issued deer-possession permits and took enforcement action for deer stands left in WMAs.
CO Jake Swedberg (Detroit Lakes) spent the past week following up on complaints from the deer season. Several follow-up interviews were done and several registration and tagging issues were enforced. Other cases involving illegally taken deer were worked with assistance from U.S Fish and Wildlife officers. When all was said and done, a group of three hunters were each given citations for multiple violations.
CO Al Peterson (Osage) worked ongoing cases from the rifle deer season. Additional charges of baiting, no deer license, and trespass are pending. Peterson also worked the end of the firearms season in the 100 series of permit areas.
CO Steve Chihak (Moorhead) spent the past week working waterfowl, archery deer hunting and small-game enforcement. Goose hunters continue to do well as a steady stream of geese have been seen moving through the area. Time was also spent working on open cases from the firearms deer season. Deer-possession permits and minnow-transportation permits were issued.
CO Angie Warren (Mahnomen) monitored area lakes for angling activity. With lakes starting to freeze, people are reminded to use caution when venturing out on ice. Follow up on cases from deer season was performed. WMAs and waterfowl production areas were worked for small-game-hunting activity. Questions about landowner licenses and muzzleloader season were answered.
CO Bill Landmark (Pelican Rapids) spent the past week working on reports from a busy deer season. Landmark also followed up with calls of activity observed or questions that arose during the deer season. A possession permit for a car-killed mule deer buck that was struck north of Detroit Lakes was also issued.
District 4 - Walker area
CO Jacque Hughes (Longville) continued to check big-game hunters. She took various hunting complaints. Enforcement action was taken for wanton waste and failure to validate a deer tag.
CO Randy Posner (Staples) worked on fishing enforcement this past week. The fair weather continues to bring out a few muskie anglers, but they’re not having much success. He found an angler fishing with a fishing license in possession. He checked duck and goose hunters on the river. They had mixed success. He received a complaint of deer-carcass dumping in the Pillsbury State Forest. ATV and snowmobile activity received some enforcement time. Trespass violations were reported and investigated.
CO Jordan Anderson (Wadena) spent the past week finishing cases from the firearms deer season. Miscellaneous calls were handled related to trapping and nuisance animals.
CO Calie Kunst (Remer) primarily worked deer hunters throughout the past week. Enforcement action was taken for transporting loaded firearms, operating an ATV during restricted hours and driving with a cancelled driver’s license. Kunst also took calls about people feeding deer in the feeding ban zone and received other deer-related calls.
CO Mark Mathy (Cass Lake) continued to check deer hunters and follow up on existing cases. Reports of hunters shooting waterfowl from a moving motorboat, deer-carcass dumping, and rifle hunters in a closed game refuge were investigated. A couple ATV-related complaints were also taken.
District 10 - Mille Lacs area
CO Gregory Verkuilen (Garrison) checked deer-season activity including baiting complaints, shining activity, and hunter ATV use. Open-water waterfowl hunters were checked making use of the Mille Lacs Lake exemption. Mille Lacs anglers were also on the lake as fish are moving into shallow water.
CO Dustie Speldrich (Willow River) received complaints from hunters who harvested deer with corn in their stomachs. They assume neighboring hunters are to blame as there is no standing corn nearby. Investigations were conducted since there is a feeding ban in Pine County and a high occurrence of bait still being placed to cheat in taking a deer. The hunters who are doing it the right way are very frustrated. Speldrich received information regarding a firearms possession violation, responded to ATVs operating on closed trails, and assisted with a shooting from the roadway complaint.
CO Dan Starr (Onamia) continued to work the 16-day 100 series of permit areas deer season with various issues coming up. Failing to register deer continues to be an issue, with violations found. Violations for taking deer in the wrong zone, hunting in a state park, and no trapping license were also found. A dead gray wolf in Morrison County is also under investigation. A reminder to successful deer hunters to properly discard your deer carcasses in a proper place, not in view of the public.
CO Mikeena Mattson (Wealthwood) spent the past week checking hunters. Success was low among deer hunters, but the number of hunters afield had also dropped. Enforcement action was taken for various ATV and hunting related violations, which included transporting a loaded firearm in a motor vehicle, leaving hunting stands overnight in a WMA, litter, no license in possession, and use of attractants in Aitkin County. It is prohibited there due to a CWD feeding and attractants ban.
District 11 - St. Cloud area
CO Caleb Silgjord (Sauk Centre) continued field training with COC Larson. Silgjord would like to take the opportunity to recognize Richard Kleinschmidt, of Sauk Centre, who recently passed away. Mr. Kleinschmidt was an ardent supporter of conservation and was a longtime member of the Sauk Centre Conservation Club. His efforts to bolster youth participation in outdoor recreation and the shooting sports in the Sauk Centre area were beyond compare. His presence and efforts will be missed by not only his family, but also by many within our community, including Silgjord. Silgjord had the privilege to check Mr. Kleinschmidt’s sons and grandsons over the weekend while they were participating in a memorial goose hunt.
CO Todd VanderWeyst (Paynesville) worked on follow-up cases concerning overlimits of deer during the firearms deer season. He also worked with a neighboring officer on a shooting-from-the-road case. VanderWeyst also took calls of waterfowl hunters shooting at ducks while underway.
CO Adam Seifermann (St. Cloud) reports taking phone calls about trespassing, injured animals, deer-possession permits and general hunting questions. He also reports assisting Stearns County after a suspect assaulted a State Trooper and fled on foot into the wooded area of St. John’s University. He also has been working on big-game follow up and case work.
CO Keith Bertram (Long Prairie) spent the past week conducting follow up on deer season cases. One case was finished with charges being issued for taking deer without a license and taking an overlimit of bucks. Bertram also worked the 100 series of permit areas in the McGrath area.
District 12 - Princeton area
CO Mike Krauel (Mora) worked a busy end to the deer season. One hunter was found to be hunting over bait after getting caught hunting over bait on opening day. Enforcement action was taken for hunting over bait, shooting from a roadway and failure to register deer.
CO Angela Londgren (Cambridge) checked hunters and anglers, and spent time patrolling state land. Londgren also responded to complaints of trespassing, dogs chasing deer, injured animals, and litter.
CO Nate Benkofske (Milaca) reports checking deer hunters during the firearms seasons. Enforcement action was taken for untagged deer, transporting loaded firearms, and hunting out of season. Many reports of dumped deer carcasses on public hunting land parking lots and road ditches are being called in. This is litter and makes deer hunters look bad to the entirety of the public. Dispose of carcasses properly.
CO Tony Musatov (Sauk Rapids) checked hunters and handled hunting complaints. Follow up was done on a wetland complaint. Calls were handled for illegally dumping deer carcasses.
Standby CO Pilot Tim Gray (Bemidji) took photos of an encroachment onto a stream easement for comparison purposes. He also checked for the placement of a stand belonging to a hunter who has restrictions on their hunting privileges, looked for baited stands and patrolled for timber theft sites.
NR Pilot John Heineman (Bemidji) reports flying wolf telemetry as well as other administrative tasks.
CO Pilot Jason Jensen (Brainerd) reports flying deer season enforcement support flights.
NR Pilot Brad Maas (Brainerd) attended a two-day aerial helicopter firefighting webinar, and completed other administrative tasks.
Water Resource Enforcement Officers
WREO Joseph Stattelman (NW) spent the past week wrapping up from the firearms deer season. Time was spent on Wetland Conservation Act and public waters cases and preparing to update and close out existing cases. Time was spent discussing case status with field COs and local government units. Several calls and questions were fielded from the public.
WREO Robert Haberman (North Central) worked the firearms deer season in regions 1 and 2. Several hunters were out with violations addressed. Haberman also checked on traps and answered other calls for service. A dam project was worked on with DNR staff in Isanti County.
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Prepared by Joe Albert, Communications coordinator | Division of Enforcement